Ex-Cas­ca­di­an chief Scott My­ers lands at Bio­Clin; Ko­di­ak woos Genen­tech vet Ja­son Ehrlich for CMO role

Scott My­ers

Scott My­ers and Julie East­land, two of the top ex­ecs head­ed out as Cas­ca­di­an Ther­a­peu­tics got ab­sorbed in­to Seat­tle Ge­net­ics, have both set­tled at Bio­Clin Ther­a­peu­tics. Stay­ing in fa­mil­iar roles, My­ers has been named CEO while East­land is CFO and chief busi­ness of­fi­cer. My­ers, who pre­vi­ous­ly held man­age­ment po­si­tions at UCB and J&J be­fore tak­ing the helm of a med­ical de­vice com­pa­ny, suc­ceeds Bio­Clin founder Stephen Lau. The ap­point­ments are an­nounced as the San Le­an­dro, CA-based biotech is gear­ing up for reg­is­tra­tional tri­als of its lead com­pound, vo­fa­tam­ab (B-701).

→ De­gen­er­a­tive dis­ease spe­cial­ist Bi­o­Time $BTX has tapped Bri­an Cul­ley as its new CEO, tak­ing up a role pre­vi­ous­ly shared by Adi Mo­han­ty and Michael West. Cul­ley helmed Mast Ther­a­peu­tics for sev­en years be­fore a failed lead pro­gram dragged it down and left it with lit­tle op­tion oth­er than serv­ing as a shell for Savara’s re­verse merg­er. West will now move on­to the chief ex­ec­u­tive role at AgeX, a Bi­o­Time af­fil­i­ate fo­cused on age-re­lat­ed de­gen­er­a­tive ail­ments.

Vanes­sa King

→ Ex­pe­ri­enced biotech vet Vanes­sa King has tak­en the CEO job at Lon­don-based Viri­on Bio­ther­a­peu­tics, build­ing on a par­ti­cle tech plat­form to fo­cus on res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­ease. King had been CEO at Luc Ther­a­peu­tics and ear­li­er worked the busi­ness de­vel­op­ment side of the ta­ble for de­CODE, be­fore Am­gen bought out the com­pa­ny. Is­abel Na­jera was al­so named as the com­pa­ny’s chief sci­en­tif­ic of­fi­cer.

→ Por­to­la $PT­LA has turned to an ex­pe­ri­enced com­mer­cial ex­ec for its new CEO. Scott Gar­land is join­ing the com­pa­ny from Re­lyp­sa, where he was pres­i­dent. Ear­li­er Gar­land had been an EVP at Ex­elix­is and has a re­sume that in­cludes a stint at Genen­tech.

→ Just days af­ter map­ping out a com­pet­i­tive strat­e­gy for its oph­thal­mol­o­gy drug in a $100 mil­lion IPO fil­ing, Ko­di­ak Sci­ences says it’s brought in Genen­tech vet Ja­son Ehrlich as chief med­ical and de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer. As glob­al head of clin­i­cal oph­thal­mol­o­gy at the big biotech, Ehrlich was a lead clin­i­cian for Lu­cen­tis — one of the cur­rent an­ti-VEGF drugs that Ko­di­ak has set out to beat. Al­so new to the com­pa­ny are Al­mas Qudrat, VP of qual­i­ty op­er­a­tions, and Pablo Ve­lazquez-Mar­tin, who will over­see clin­i­cal re­search and trans­la­tion­al med­i­cine.

Wladimir (Vlad) Hogen­huis is the new — and first — chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer at Ul­tragenyx $RARE, join­ing a team that’s ea­ger to re­al­ize block­buster am­bi­tions for its grow­ing port­fo­lio of rare dis­ease drugs. A long­time Mer­ck ex­ec, Hogen­huis spent the last six years at Glax­o­SmithK­line in a range of com­mer­cial and op­er­a­tional ca­pac­i­ties. That kind of all-round­ed ex­per­tise, Ul­tragenyx CEO Emil Kakkis says, will serve the com­pa­ny well for “many years to come.”

Jared Gol­lob

→ Fresh off the his­toric ap­provals of Al­ny­lam’s first RNAi drug, long­time staffer Jared Gol­lob has jumped ship to pur­sue an­oth­er “new fron­tier in drug dis­cov­ery” — pro­tein degra­da­tion. As CMO at Cam­bridge, MA-based Kymera, Gol­lob is tasked with ad­vanc­ing prod­uct can­di­dates for can­cer, au­toim­mune and in­flam­ma­to­ry dis­eases iden­ti­fied by the com­pa­ny’s plat­form, all of which are still in the pre­clin­i­cal stage.

Na­tal­ie Sacks is part­ing ways with Aduro Biotech $ADRO af­ter serv­ing as its chief med­ical of­fi­cer for two years. Sacks’ tenure at the can­cer im­munother­a­py com­pa­ny was marked by a rocky clin­i­cal jour­ney with the can­cer vac­cine CRS-207, which lived through a par­tial hold but was ul­ti­mate­ly scrapped for dis­ap­point­ing ef­fi­ca­cy. There’s no im­me­di­ate word on Sacks’ next steps af­ter she of­fi­cial­ly leaves on Oc­to­ber 1.

Melin­ta Ther­a­peu­tics $ML­NT has ap­point­ed Pe­ter Mil­li­gan as the suc­ces­sor to CFO Paul Es­trem, who is re­tir­ing af­ter lead­ing the an­tibi­otics biotech through the re­verse merg­er with Cem­pra and the ac­qui­si­tion of The Med­i­cines Com­pa­ny’s in­fec­tious dis­ease unit. Mil­li­gan joins from gener­ics phar­ma G&W Lab­o­ra­to­ries, where he had the same role.

Ja­cob Chacko has re­cruit­ed a for­mer Igny­ta col­league to his team at Oric Phar­ma. Pratik Mul­tani, who used to be CMO of the Roche-ac­quired biotech, will as­sume the same po­si­tion in Oric and im­me­di­ate be­gin steer­ing lead drug ORIC-101 in­to the clin­ic. “De­spite many new ther­a­pies, re­sis­tance re­mains a sig­nif­i­cant bar­ri­er to im­proved out­comes in most pa­tients with ad­vanced can­cers, and ORIC is at the fore­front of work to ad­dress that chal­lenge, be­gin­ning with the glu­co­cor­ti­coid re­cep­tor an­tag­o­nist and con­tin­u­ing with the rest of the pipeline,” he said in a state­ment.

→ Fol­low­ing a stint as head of biotech in­vest­ment bank­ing at RBC Cap­i­tal Mar­kets, Shane Ko­vacs is back in the front lines of biotech as chief busi­ness and fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of Blue­Rock Ther­a­peu­tics. This would mark his sec­ond for­ay in­to biotech since leav­ing Cred­it Su­isse in 2013, the first be­ing at PTC Ther­a­peu­tics. Found­ed by Ver­sant Ven­tures and backed by Bay­er, Blue­Rock is de­vel­op­ing cell ther­a­pies for re­gen­er­a­tive use.

Am­gen vet and for­mer Kite Phar­ma ex­ec An­tho­ny Polveri­no has joined Zymeworks $ZYME as CSO and EVP of ear­ly de­vel­op­ment, tak­ing a cen­tral role in dri­ving the R&D strat­e­gy for an am­bi­tious team de­vel­op­ing “mul­ti­func­tion­al ther­a­peu­tics”.

No­var­tis spin­out resTOR­bio $TORC has hired sea­soned com­mer­cial ex­ec Mered­ith Man­ning as chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer. Hav­ing worked in mar­ket­ing, prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and oth­er strate­gic roles across Pfiz­er, Ver­tex, Bax­ter and Shire, she is now ex­pect­ed to pave a way for resTOR­bio’s an­ti-ag­ing ther­a­pies.

Syned­gen has brought in Kaveri Park­er to lead busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of its gly­comics tech plat­form, which aims to treat in­flam­ma­to­ry and in­fec­tious dis­eases by tar­get­ing mu­cos­al in­ter­faces. The new chief busi­ness of­fi­cer was most re­cent­ly pres­i­dent and CEO of a di­ag­nos­tics com­pa­ny called ID Ge­nomics.

→ MPM-backed Har­poon Ther­a­peu­tics has tapped Chris Whit­more, alum­ni of an­oth­er im­muno-on­col­o­gy com­pa­ny called Im­mune De­sign, as VP of fi­nance. Con­cur­rent­ly, Seat­tle Ge­net­ics’ for­mer CMO Jonathan Drach­man has joined their board.

Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO (Getty Images)

Sanofi CEO Paul Hud­son has $23B burn­ing a hole in his pock­et. And here are some hints on how he plans to spend that

Sanofi has reaped $11.1 billion after selling off a big chunk of its Regeneron stock at $515 a share. And now everyone on the M&A side of the business is focused on how CEO Paul Hudson plans to spend it.

After getting stung in France for some awkward politicking — suggesting the US was in the front of the line for Sanofi’s vaccines given American financial support for their work, versus little help from European powers — Hudson now has the much more popular task of managing a major cash cache to pull off something in the order of a big bolt-on. Or two.

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The Avance Clinical leadership team: CEO Yvonne Lungershausen, Sandrien Louwaars - Director Business Development Operations, Gabriel Kremmidiotis - Chief Scientific Officer, Ben Edwards - Chief Strategy Officer

How Aus­tralia De­liv­ers Rapid Start-up and 43.5% Re­bate for Ear­ly Phase On­col­o­gy Tri­als

About Avance Clinical

Avance Clinical is an Australian owned Contract Research Organisation that has been providing high-quality clinical research services to the local and international drug development industry for 20 years. They specialise in working with biotech companies to execute Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials to deliver high-quality outcomes fit for global regulatory standards.

As oncology sponsors look internationally to speed-up trials after unprecedented COVID-19 suspensions and delays, Australia, which has led the world in minimizing the pandemic’s impact, stands out as an attractive destination for early phase trials. This in combination with the streamlined regulatory system and the financial benefits including a very favourable exchange rate and the R & D cash rebate makes Australia the perfect location for accelerating biotech clinical programs.

As­traZeneca trum­pets the good da­ta they found for Tagris­so in an ad­ju­vant set­ting for NSCLC — but many of the ex­perts aren’t cheer­ing along

AstraZeneca is rolling out the big guns this evening to provide a salute to their ADAURA data on Tagrisso at ASCO.

Cancer R&D chief José Baselga calls the disease-free survival data for their drug in an adjuvant setting of early stage, epidermal growth factor receptor-mutated NSCLC patients following surgery “momentous.” Roy Herbst, the principal investigator out of Yale, calls it “transformative.”

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Pablo Legorreta, founder and CEO of Royalty Pharma AG, speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Cap­i­tal­iz­ing Pablo: The world’s biggest drug roy­al­ty buy­er is go­ing pub­lic. And the low-key CEO di­vulges a few se­crets along the way

Pablo Legorreta is one of the most influential players in biopharma you likely never heard of.

Over the last 24 years, Legorreta’s Royalty Pharma group has become, by its own reckoning, the biggest buyer of drug royalties in the world. The CEO and founder has bought up a stake in a lengthy list of the world’s biggest drug franchises, spending $18 billion in the process — $2.2 billion last year alone. And he’s become one of the best-paid execs in the industry, reaping $28 million from the cash flow last year while reserving 20% of the cash flow, less expenses, for himself.

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Dan O'Day, Gilead CEO (Andrew Harnik, AP Images)

UP­DAT­ED: Gilead leas­es part­ner rights to TIG­IT, PD-1 in a $2B deal with Ar­cus. Now comes the hard part

Gilead CEO Dan O’Day has brokered his way to a PD-1 and lined up a front row seat in the TIGIT arena, inking a deal worth close to $2 billion to align the big biotech closely with Terry Rosen’s Arcus. And $375 million of that comes upfront, with cash for the buy-in plus equity, along with $400 million for R&D and $1.22 billion in reserve to cover opt-in payments and milestones..

Hotly rumored for weeks, the 2 players have formalized a 10-year alliance that starts with rights to the PD-1, zimberelimab. O’Day also has first dibs on TIGIT and 2 other leading programs, agreeing to an opt-in fee ranging from $200 million to $275 million on each. There’s $500 million in potential TIGIT milestones on US regulatory events — likely capped by an approval — if Gilead partners on it and the stars align on the data. And there’s another $150 million opt-in payments for the rest of the Arcus pipeline.

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No­var­tis jumps in­to Covid-19 vac­cine hunt, as Big Phar­ma and big biotech com­mit to bil­lions of dos­es

After spending most of the pandemic on the sidelines, Novartis is offering its aid in the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.

AveXis, the Swiss pharma’s gene therapy subsidiary, has agreed to manufacture the vaccine being developed by Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital. The biotech will begin manufacturing this month, while the vaccine undergoes further preclinical testing. They’ve agreed to provide the vaccine for free for clinical trials beginning in the second half of 2020, but have not disclosed financials for after.

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Bryan Roberts, Venrock

Ven­rock sur­vey shows grow­ing recog­ni­tion of coro­n­avirus toll, wan­ing con­fi­dence in ar­rival of vac­cines and treat­ments

When Venrock partner Bryan Roberts went to check the results from their annual survey of healthcare leaders, what he found was an imprint of the pandemic’s slow arrival in America.

The venture firm had sent their form out to hundreds of insurance and health tech executives, investors, officials and academics on February 24 and gave them two weeks to fill it out. No Americans had died at that point but the coronavirus had become enough of a global crisis that they included two questions about the virus, including “Total U.S. deaths in 2020 from the novel coronavirus will be:”.

Roger Perlmutter, Merck R&D chief (YouTube)

UP­DAT­ED: Backed by BAR­DA, Mer­ck jumps in­to Covid-19: buy­ing out a vac­cine, part­ner­ing on an­oth­er and adding an­tivi­ral to the mix

Merck execs are making a triple play in a sudden leap into the R&D campaign against Covid-19. And they have more BARDA cash backing them up on the move.

Tuesday morning the pharma giant simultaneously announced plans to buy an Austrian biotech that has been working on a preclinical vaccine candidate, added a collaboration on another vaccine with the nonprofit IAVI and inked a deal with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics on an early-stage antiviral.

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Stymied by the pan­dem­ic, Im­munomedic­s' new CEO bows out, tak­ing a mil­lion bucks plus perks as he heads out the vir­tu­al ex­it

Just a little more than a month since taking over as the latest CEO to helm Immunomedics, $IMMU Harout Semerjian is exiting the company after being confronted by “logistical” obstacles thrown up by the pandemic that made it impossible for him to move from London to carry out the job. And he’s getting a little over a million dollars in cash plus perks to grease the skids on the way out.

Word of the changeup arrived right after the market closed Wednesday.

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